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Fan Zone 04/11/2022



SIX OF THE BEST AS UNITED END HOME HOODO IN STYLE


ELLIS IS THE MARKE SIGNING WE’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR


Over the years of supporting Torquay United there have been highs and lows as one would expect from any football club.

However, facing up to friends and family when the team were relegated from the football league (twice) were tough times but balanced with the euphoria of promotion back, it made one feel that all was right in the football world.

Then came horrors of all horrors, relegation from the top tier of non-league football into the world of regional, part-time football. What a low when United crashed out of the National League into National South. But to the rescue came, ‘been there, got the T-shirt’ Gary Johnson.

Promotion followed swiftly and then the heart-break of the play-off final.

Now it’s back to finding conversations with friends and family difficult once again as the Gulls flounder at the bottom staring relegation in the face. No league wins since September 3 at Southend and none at home since May until Tuesday night.

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These are tough times needing tough decisions. Do the two United directors stick with the manager or make a change? Decisions like these are difficult and not taken lightly.

For us fans are we going to miss matches next season with ex-League sides like Chesterfield, Wrexham, Southend, York to be replaced by Farnborough, Bath City and a Boxing Day and New Year’s Day derby with Taunton Town? This is the reality of the current situation.

So, it made Tuesday’s re-arranged home game against in-form Aldershot Town crucial.

After sacking manager Mark Molesley Aldershot were five games unbeaten, winning their last three while United have taken only two points from the last six games.

With a goal difference of minus 19 having conceded 32 goals so far it’s easy to see why, at last, an experienced defender in local lad Mark Ellis - the MarkE signing we were promised - joined on Saturday on loan from Barrow.

Ellis made his debut for Torquay on September 22 2007 on loan from Bolton Wanderers in a 5-2 win at Kidderminster. He went on to make 136 league and cup appearances, scoring twelve times, before joining Crewe Alexandra in 2012.

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The top versus bottom clash at Meadow Lane ended in a predictable 4-0 home win with ex-Gull Steve Woods, on pundit duty for BBC Radio Devon, saying there was a big gulf in class between the two teams and after the first goal United were second best. Notts County had more players who could affect the game.

His advice? Woods stressed the importance of “being together and staying together as a club.”

This was underlined by the 330 Yellow Army in a crowd of 7,563, “a fantastic effort” according to Woods.

To be fair Johnson is being given every support from the club with the three signings all playing a part on Saturday and with the arrival of Stephen Wearne for Tuesday night’s clash.

Even Jurgen Klopp is going through a difficult time especially after losing at home to Leeds United but he has the full support of the club and fans.

Whilst Tuesday’s 6-1 win came out of the blue, boy was it welcome for it was a real team performance with probably Tom Lapslie’s goal the pick of the six. But how good was it to see a Jarvis hat-trick?

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One manager who has stepped down last week was Neil Cugley of Folkestone Invicta of the Isthmian League Premier Division. What’s newsworthy about this? Well, Cugley has been in charge for 26 years, a pretty impressive record managing 1,299 games. He’s the longest serving manager in English football since Arsene Wenger left Arsenal in 2018.

National League Crowd Watch: 10,107 at Wrexham, 7,370 at Chesterfield and 4,915 at York City.

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Torquay’s women’s team, suffering from their own injury crisis with only two on the bench, were involved in a topsy-turvey match at league rivals Bishop’s Lydeard on Sunday. After going an early goal down due to a defensive mix-up, United clawed themselves back into the match thanks to a cross, come shot from Ocean Latto’s left foot as it sailed into the net and then Ellie Bishop slotted home to give the Gulls a half-time lead.

With the advantage of the slope the home side drew level with a 30 yard free-kick and then against the run of play another 30 yarder hit the back of the net. Fortunately, Steve Elswood’s side never gave up and a solo effort from Ellie Bishop gave Torquay a deserved share of the points.

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What’s going on at Bury AFC, the former football league club? Plans to merge the two fan groups to bring Bury FC back to Gigg Lane have failed following a crunch vote last week. Supporters were asked to vote on proposals to unite the two fan groups, the Shakers Community Society and Bury Football Club Supporters Society (BFCSS), in a bid to ensure men’s football returns to its spiritual home in the town.

Gigg Lane has been empty for three years since Bury FC were thrown out of the EFL. In the wake of their demise a group of fans formed Bury AFC.

In the vote 94% of the Shakers Community Society voted in favour but only 62.9% of the BFCSS did, which was not enough as a two thirds majority was required.

This, though, is certainly not the end of the story.

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Regular readers will be aware that TUST was one of the founding members of the South-West Supporters’ Trust group along with Argyle and Exeter City trusts. At a meeting recently, now with representatives from Bristol City, Hereford FC, Swindon Town and Yeovil, the group, the only one of its kind in the UK, discussed topics such as live streaming, early kick-offs and the fan-led review.

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There are still mixed feelings about whether clubs should move fixtures to mid-day on Saturdays to avoid the use of floodlights, to help cut down on energy costs.

This Sunday Johnson’s squad can forget about league matches and bask in the limelight of national TV as ITV broadcasts United’s FA Cup match with Derby County live from Plainmoor with a 3pm kick-off.

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Last week saw a flurry of new members joining TUST for which we thank each one of you. You can also send your football thoughts to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com or Twitter: @FanszoneT.

Let’s get behind the team and enjoy the magic of the FA Cup.

COYY








 


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